Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dark Parties by Sara Grant

Release Date: 08.03.2011
Publisher: Little, Brown books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 320

Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield "protects" them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there's nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says...

Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she's ever known, including the people she loves the most.

I'm back! I've had an awesome weekend in California. I had such a blast it's insane, I also got a ton of reading done so I'm unloading my reviews tonight :)

Okay, okay, I can see the places where people might have had some issues with this book (in terms of character believability/backstory), and I agree with them. Here's hoping these issues get addressed in the next book, if there is one. I'll try to keep this review as spoiler-free as I can when I talk about them. Otherwise? I really, really enjoyed this book.

For what Grant lacks in the development of some of her characters (and they're all male, but I won't go any farther than that lest it turn spoilery), she more than makes up for in plot. The true goal of Homeland that's the Big Reveal in the final part of the book is so awful, so horrifying, that it made me violently nauseous.

This is a heavily feminist story when it comes down to it. The male characters really aren't important, even if they seem that way through the first chapter and in bits and pieces throughout the book. This is Neva (and Sanna, and the rest of the girls who are "unpatriotic")'s story, not theirs. This is not your usual YA dystopian book.

The fact that Neva shelves her own want for affection/romance/sex in exchange for her own freedom is not only a rare trait in the YA market, but in the adult market, and in real life. So I applaud Grant for making her heroine overcome her fear of being alone because she chose herself over sex/relationships with others - even if it was reluctant (and under the circumstances, I understand why).

My favourite part of the story is how Neva grows, and by the end of the book, she is still a friend, sister, lover, daughter - but most of all, she is herself, and that is what saves her.

So even if this starts out like a typical YA dystopian book, I ask you to stay with it until the end. You'll be pleasantly surprised by what happens. If you want something new, try "Dark Parties". And let's hope there's another book coming.


I hope your weekends were as awesome as mine :)


1 comment:

  1. I liked the growth in this one too. I also liked that her wants did not always come first. It was a surprisingly good read! And I think there is a next one, at least according to Goodreads.